Chariot and Horse in the Ancient World - lecture by John Hale, Monday, February 12, 6 pm at Penn Museum

Please join us for on Monday, February 12 at 6 pm for:

An illustrated lecture by Dr. John R. Hale, University of Louisville
AIA Joukowsky Lecturer, Spring 2018

The lecture will be held at the Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia, PA

Admission to the lecture is free.

After wild horses were first domesticated on the grasslands of the Eurasian steppes, troops of nomadic riders began to conquer agricultural communities to the south and east, thus establishing some of the world’s earliest empires.  Although such equids as the donkey and mule (a horse-donkey hybrid) played essential roles in the development of farming, horses were mainly utilized in hunting, in displays of status, and in war, becoming in time the ultimate status symbol of male dominance from Celtic lands in Atlantic Europe to Chinese kingdoms and empires in eastern Asia.  Chariots were first used in raids and battles, as platforms for archers and spearmen.  But their potential for sport and racing ultimately overshadowed their military role, particularly in the Roman Empire.  Lecturer John R. Hale has directed fieldwork at the extensive Roman horse farm of Torre de Palma in Portugal (modern Lusitania), where mosaic artists created portraits of five famous stallions.  In this illustrated lecture, he shows how chariot-racing become the most popular sport in the Roman world, with such hippodromes as the Circus Maximus in Rome becoming the largest of all Roman public structures.

Program sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Philadelphia Society.

Chariot racing mosaic from the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, Sicily (ca. 4th century AD)

Viking Longship lecture by John Hale - Sunday, Feb. 11 at Penn Museum

Please join us on Sunday, February 11 at 2 pm for a lecture - “Dragons of the North: The World of Viking Longships” - by Dr. John R. Hale, archaeologist and Director of Liberal Studies, University of Louisville.

The lecture will be held at the Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia, PA

Admission to the lecture is free.

Viking ships are among the most remarkable artifacts in the entire realm of archaeological discovery, dominating European history for the three centuries between 800 and 1100 AD.  As warships they terrorized coasts from Scotland to the Mediterranean; as trading craft they ventured down the rivers of Russia to Byzantium, and as vessels of exploration and colonization they crossed the open Atlantic to Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and ultimately America.  Yet all these amazing achievements were accomplished by open, undecked ships with a few oars and a single square sail.

The 19th century witnessed dramatic finds of royal Viking ships in Norwegian burial mounds along Oslo fjord.  More recently, underwater archaeologists have recovered virtually intact Viking ships from harbors in Denmark.  The most ambitious project in the field of experimental archaeology has involved the reconstruction and sea trials of many Viking ship types.  John Hale has traced the ancestry of Viking ships all the way back to sewn-plank canoes of the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and shows the links between these remarkable ships and the watercraft of the Pacific and central Africa.

Program sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Philadelphia Society.

Oseberg Viking Ship (Oslo, Norway)

The Musician's Life - lecture and musical performance by Nikolaos Xanthoulis - November 12

“The Musician’s Life”

by Dr. Nikolaos Xanthoulis

Sunday, November 12 at 2:00 pm at the Penn Museum
Reception to follow
Free and open to the public

In 1935 four wooden votive paintings were discovered inside a deep cave near the village of Pitsa in Greece and are now exhibited in the Greek National Archaeological Museum; they are the earliest surviving examples of Greek panel painting, dated to 540-530 BC.  In his lecture, Dr. Nikolaus Xanthoulis will examine a painting that depicts a sacrificial procession to the nymphs that includes musicians playing the lyre and aulos (a reed pipe).  Dr. Xanthoulis will examine the details of the musicians and their instruments, and the significance of the symbolic naming of the women that participate in the procession.  After the lecture, Dr. Xanthoulis will present a small concert with poems of the 6th century BC set in music by him to ancient Greek prosody, and accompanied by a seven-chord ancient Greek lyre replica (the same type of lyre as depicted in the painting)

Nikolaus Xanthoulis is with the Greek National Opera, and has served as Music Researcher with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, and as Artistic Director of the Orchestras and Choir of Greek Public Radio & Television.  He holds his degrees from the Sofia Music Academy (Ph.D.), the Panteion University of Athens, and the Athens and Athenaeum Conservatories.  His fields of research are the music of ancient Greece, the ancient Greek trumpet (Salpinx) and lyre, and the performance of ancient Greek lyric songs; his current project is the revival of the ancient Greek lyre and ancient Greek culture.

The lecture will take place at the Penn Museum on Sunday, November 12, 2017.  It will begin at 2:00 PM, followed by a reception, and is free and open to the public; please use the Kress Entrance on the east side of the Museum when entering.  The lecture is part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s National Lecture Program, and funding for it has been provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in New York, which strives to support the work of scholars in the fields of ancient art.

Lecture: "The Religious Center of the City of Knossos" - Thursday, November 2, 2017

“The Religious Center of the City of Knossos:
Excavations of a Plot in the Modern Village”

Dr. Athanasia Kanta

Director Emerita, 23rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
Director of the Study Center of Cretan and Mediterranean Archaeology at Monastiraki Amari, Rethymnon

Thursday, November 2, 2017
5:30 pm reception, 6:00 pm lecture

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum
3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Excavations at the upper village of Knossos in recent years have brought to light the religious center of the town. Our rescue excavation took place for a few months in 2011 and 2012 and then continuously from 2013 to March 2017. A total of 525 square meters have been excavated to a maximum depth of 8.5 m.

Although the area gave a hint that remains of a cultic character might be expected, nothing prepared us for the diachronic evidence of cult from the Protopalatial period (1900 BC) to the Roman period (2nd century AD) and perhaps later. Architectural finds combined with sculpture and artifacts of precious metals clearly indicate the way cultural tradition is transmitted through the centuries.

This lecture is sponsored by:

INSTAP Study Center for East Crete
Center for Ancient Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Group in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania
Archaeological Institute of America, Philadelphia Chapter
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology